Lebanon Valley College has received the largest gift in its 147-year history, school officials announced Thursday.

The late Dr. John Bowman Allwein, a 1956 graduate of Lebanon Valley College, named his alma mater as the sole benefactor of his estimated $5 million estate.

The oral surgeon and 20-year Army veteran died April 13 in St. Petersburg, Fla. He was 78.

"The generosity displayed by Dr. Allwein's gift parallels his lifelong belief that 'education is the key to solving many of society's ills,'" said Lewis Thayne, Lebanon Valley College's president. "This will be a transformational gift for Lebanon Valley College and we are profoundly grateful for the generosity of Dr. John "Jack" Allwein '56."

The gift will increase the value of Lebanon Valley College's endowment by more than 10 percent, said Thayne, adding that it will, among other things, make a Lebanon Valley College education more accessible for students from area high schools.

"This gift takes us back to our foundations, to the citizens of the region, and to the power of education and of individuals to influence communities," Thayne said.